A taste of the Frisco’s famous charbroiled steak lives on in the Buda-based Night Hawk frozen foods

The Frisco will close for good on July 29. Ricardo Brazziell/American-Statesman

Harry Akin had already been running hamburger stands for 20 years when he opened the Frisco Shop in 1953.

The beloved 65-year-old restaurant, the last of Akin’s pioneering Night Hawk family of restaurants, will close for good on July 29.

It’s a sad day for fans of the restaurant’s famous “top chop’t steaks,” but you can still find a nostalgic taste of these iconic Austin restaurants through Night Hawk frozen meals, the Buda-based food manufacturer that has been a separate entity since 1989, when Charles Hill bought the retail side of the brand.

RELATED: After 65 years, the Frisco will close up shop on Burnet Road

PHOTOS: The Frisco closing after 65 years in Austin

Harry Akin started his first restaurant business during the Depression and then took advantage of technological advances in the 1950s to add a line of frozen charbroiled steaks. He later added frozen meals to the retail side of the company, which was sold in 1989 to Charles Hill, whose family still runs the food manufacturing company out of Buda. Neal Douglass photo / March 10, 1958 / Austin History Center

Akin, who went on to become mayor and one of the first business owners to integrate his restaurants during the Civil Rights era, was also a pioneer in frozen foods. In the 1950s, Akin started selling frozen charbroiled steaks to local grocery stores, and the full frozen meals launched in 1964, just a few years after the first heat-and-eat dinners hit the market.

Longtime chief for 30 years Phillip Demps prepares food for customers. Austin will lose a piece of its dining history later this month when the Frisco closes July 29. The shutter will be the end of the 65-year run for a restaurant that was originally opened by Harry Akin at Koenig Lane and Burnet Road in 1953. Ricardo Brazziell/American-Statesman

The meat-and-potatoes meals were originally made in a co-packing facility off Shelby Lane, near the motor mile along Interstate 35 in South Austin. In 1993, Charles Hill built a plant to expand in Buda next to the already established food co-packer Jardine’s, which has bottled salsas, dressings and other jarred foods since 1979.

Hill’s daughter, Leanne Logan, took over Night Hawk several years and now runs it with her husband, Scott. For a 2015 story about the local packaged food industry, I found out that the Night Hawk has branched out to sell nearly 20 different meals, many of which feature the famed Night Hawk charbroiled beef patty that was once the star of the restaurant. They have added a breakfast line in recent years, but instead of taking on entirely different cuisines, they’ve always stuck with their comfort food appeal, Leanne Logan says.

Of the 48 workers, a handful have been there for more than 30 years. “If there is turnover, it’s because they retire,” Scott Logan says, citing a woman who recently retired after 42 years with the company.

Night Hawk frozen meals have changed over the years, including the packaging, but you can still find them at hundreds of stores throughout Texas and beyond. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman